Melbourne will be the first pilot city for Uber Air outside of the US, with test flights scheduled to start from 2020 and commercial operations from 2023.
Uber has announced Australia as the first international market for Uber Air, with Melbourne being selected as the third official pilot city. Melbourne will join Dallas and Los Angeles as pilot cities for the program, with test flights due to start from 2020 and plans for commercial operations to commence from 2023.
Susan Anderson, regional general manager for Uber in Australia, New Zealand and North Asia made the announcement at Uber’s global Elevate (Uber Air) Summit in Washington on June 11.
She said, “Australian governments have adopted a forward-looking approach to ridesharing and future transport technology. This, coupled with Melbourne’s unique demographic and geospatial factors, and culture of innovation and technology, makes Melbourne the perfect third launch city for Uber Air. We will see other Australian cities following soon after.”
According to Anderson, the state government of Victoria, Australia has been highly supportive of the programme.
Network of ties
Uber also announced partnerships with leading Australian companies, Macquarie, Telstra and Scentre Group, owner and operator of Westfield in Australia and New Zealand and will work with key existing partners including Melbourne Airport who collectively will support the infrastructure and telecommunications needed to create a successful urban aviation network.
Andrew Penn, CEO of Telstra, said that the company will be working closely with Uber over the next 12 months to assess what network infrastructure, connectivity requirements and other capabilities would be needed to support airspace mobility in urban centres.